Hieroglyphics' big move in the final furlong carried the 3-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile to his first stakes win in Monday's $100,000 Better Talk Now S. at Saratoga.
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The bay colt has won three of his last four starts and has finished worse than second only once in seven career turf starts while earning $164,272 for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.
The Better Talk Now's outcome wasn't decided until very late. Hieroglyphics was fourth after the first half-mile, when he began inching close to the lead. He was boxed in behind horses around the final turn, and it wasn't until John Velazquez swung him four-wide in mid-stretch that he had clear running.
With a swift turn of foot, he forged to the lead and held off deep closer Small Bear by a neck in 1:33.69 for the mile on the firm turf. The time was less than a half-second off the track record.
“We talked about strategy before the race and we were hoping to just sit off the front,” said Velazquez. “When it unfolded at the break, I was able to do just that and get towards the rail, which was perfect. I got to bide my time there and make sure they saw me behind the other horses. When I tipped him out, he was electric and full of run.”
Eclipse purchased the winner for $450,000 as a 2-year-old at the OBS March Sale. The colt is from the immediate family of Kona Gold, a champion sprinter who won nine graded stakes and nearly $2.3 million.